I am a CIO of a well established business. I happen to have an old resume on Monster and received a call from this business. They stated that they were offering me a job due to my qualification. During the conversation, they requested private information about the business and insisted that it was to evaluate my credentials. Within that information, they requested the contact information of the managers in full. They requested information about the workings of the business in-house. They requested my personal information for a credit check including my social security number. All this was requested within the first 3.5 minutes of the phone conversation.
As a CIO, I am well trained in phishing scams and must mention that the information they are requesting is enough to steal your identity but that is not the reason for this post.
I called back the number that called me: 763-252-0600 to ask them a few questions where I immediately stated that this call was being recorded.
Q: When you collect information about the businesses that the prospective clients are presently working with, what do you do with that information?
A: We submit it into a database in interest of seeing if you are qualified for employment.
Q: When you collect this information, is it ever used to contact their employers in interest of attaining more business clients?
A: That is not the purpose of the database but that department has access to the information.
Q: The information you have legal right to is publicly available, why are you asking the employees of a business such detailed information?
A: The people we contact volunteer the information.
Q: Do you think it is ethical to hang a proverbial carrot over their head while requesting private information?
A: I am not sure what you mean.
Q: You promise the people a job possibility in exchange for information about businesses but that information is private information. Do you think it is unethical to request non-public information about businesses from employees through bribing them with a possibility of a huge raise?
A: All the information we collect is volunteered by the people we call.
Q: What percentage of people you contact actually receive jobs from that contact information?
A: We keep all the information we collect in a database for future possibilities for our clients.
Q: Do you hire anyone for positions from these contacts?
Q: Have you personally ever connected any person you contacted with a job?
Q: Yes, you?
Q: So, forgive me if I am confused but it seems your business simply calls people from online resume postings and collects as much internal information possible about businesses so that your business can learn of internal business practices and so that your sales team can find new businesses to solicit. Is that true?
A: That is not illegal.
So, now I bring this up to the Rip Off report. I encourage someone to see the value of the information collected by this business compared to the value of the people they help and ask... does this business exist to collect information or does it exist to help people find jobs?
I look at this business and for the information that they are requesting, I see them as a business built on phishing for information.
When I mentioned that I would take this information to proper channels and report my findings, the woman asked me to hold and I was introduced to a new person that did not give me his name.
I was told in one sentence that the business is not doing anything illegal where I questioned the ethical nature of the business.
He requested that I inform him of what I meant by 'report my findings'.
I told him that I am just one of many that sees unethical behavior in their practices and if it has no merit, he has nothing to worry about.
I also stated that I could very well be wrong but it was not for me to judge but only collect information.
I said my goodbyes and I think I may have hung up while he was talking.
Sadly, unethical behavior is not always illegal but it seems that they were concentrating on illegal issues where I simply believe it is unethical to state you are an employment agency yet most your revenue is produced from the collection of data.
My suggestion is to keep private information private. Any business that wants an employee, does not want one that freely divulges private information to some stranger that calls. If my employee divulges private business information, I would fire them and not have to pay them unemployment.
Something to think about... that information you have given them will be used when talking to your employer. Your employer will know that someone has shared private information and who would want to hire you then?
AVOID THE PHISHING SCAM.